X-Men comics for December 23 2015
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert) and now here’s comics.
Extraordinary X-Men #4, by Jeff Lemire, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba and Edgar Delgado. Piotr’s a boy again, and a dying Kurt tells him that Scott and the Inhumans doomed them all. Then he wakes up, and hears Illyana inside a cocoon. He tears her out, and she dies. Then he wakes up again, chained up in Sinister’s lab, while Sinister conducts an experiment on an elephantine mutant. Nightcrawler is there, rambling religious stuff. Sinister is trying to rescue the mutant race by making them immune to the Terrigen Mists, but they keep dying. In Limbo, the X-Men are still fighting demons. Also, Anole mentions wanting to talk to Iceman about “stuff.” This is the second comic in a row that brought up Iceman’s sexuality in a really indirect “let’s not actually talk about it right now” way. ANXM did it, and now EXM’s done it. Forge gets a shield up to protect the school, and the next step is finding their missing teammates. Logan refuses to go anywhere with Cerebra. Come on, Logan, don’t be a dick. Don’t judge based on appearances. Logan and Jean have a quick moment, with Iceman asking if it’s a grandfather-daughter thing and saying it’s creepy if it’s not. I have mixed feelings on the possibility of that actually coming up in the book. On the one hand, yeah, it’d be damned creepy to have an old man showing an attraction to a teen girl. On the other hand, well, Logan did always have a thing for Jean. As long as they don’t actually start any kind of relationship, I guess I’ll be fine. Even aside from the creepy age difference, I have never bought the Jean/Logan ship. Never. It’s a stupid ship and I hate it. They track their teammates down and start a fight, which brings a weird, stupid line from Iceman: “You are really getting into this leader thing, aren’t you, Storm?” What the hell does that even mean? Storm led the X-Men for a long time in the ’80s. And then, when Scott returned to the fold, Storm was almost always either leading her own team or co-leading the X-Men as a whole. What the hell does “getting into” leadership mean? She’s been a frigging leader for over 30 years. So what the hell is that line for? What the hell, Lemire? Seriously, that line is downright offensive. It’s insulting. It implies that she doesn’t have years of leadership experience as it is. Oh, and the issue also has more veiled references to “what Cyclops did.” I find this obnoxious. Say what Scott did. Get the hell over this cute mystery bullshit and just say what he did. I feel like they want readers to hate Scott, but it’s impossible to hate him without knowing what he did. No one’s going to judge him without knowing what this horrible thing was. And once they know, most people won’t judge him until they actually get the context and get his side of things. So all these little teases are annoying. Though given the last-page reveal, hopefully we’ll find out next issue. Or maybe Lemire will drag it out for a year, it really could go either way. As a whole, this issue continues to be very meh. I made the right call dropping it and reading someone else’s copy. Because this series is just not clicking at all. The writing is mostly OK, but not really stellar. Lemire writes a very bland and generic Sinister, which is very disappointing. Gillen still wrote the best Sinister, and that’s the version of Sinister I wish had been continued here, but nope. Iceman comes across as a dick here. I hate Ramos’ art. It’s a style I do not like at all. It’s all sharp edges and points, and I find it unpleasant to look at. So, I’m still not enjoying this book.
Deadpool #4, by Gerry Duggan, Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot and Guru-eFX. Adsit wakes up in a bed, with Night Nurse treating him. She opens the door to let Preston is, and she takes Adsit out. Deadpool’s mercs are now all in different-coloured versions of the costume. He sends them off, and an accountant comes in to talk to Deadpool, while Deadpool heads off to a gunfight. Then he gets called in to help Rogers and Stingray deal with a bunch of people in Deadpool masks beating each other up. Hydra Bob is among them. He’s holding a scrap of yellow-and-purple fabric, which means Madcap was behind this riot. Which I guessed as soon as I saw the riot, because it was pretty obvious. I remain very meh on this comic. This one is better than the earlier issues, if only because the Mercs don’t get any focus. But it’s still not a great comic. It’s not very funny, for one thing. I hate writers who treat Deadpool as “lol wacky” comic relief. That’s a misunderstanding of the character. I prefer when writers go dark with the character. But it’s also important to remember that he does make jokes, constantly, even when he’s angry or depressed or whatever. Whether he’s in a violent rage, a deep depression or a full-on panic, he can’t stop himself from making jokes. But Duggan’s Deadpool is either making jokes or he’s not. Here, he’s not. He’s very serious. So I’m not enjoying this. And I still dislike the art. It’s not a style I like, and I still say it’s the wrong art style for a Deadpool book.
That’s all the X-titles, but here’s other awesome comics you should read.
Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat! #1, by Kath Leth, Brittney Williams and Megan Wilson. The comic opens with Patsy pitching She-Hulk and Sharon King on her idea for a superhero temp agency. Then we backtrack to Hellcat finding a telekinetic criminal, with their brief scuffle ending when they go hang out and talk about Wicked. He’s an Inhuman, and he just wants to live his life but it’s tough. They hear a woman scream, and rush to help, and it turns out her jerk boyfriend threw their tickets to a play down a grate. So Ian brings them back out. Then they go to She-Hulk, who tells Patsy she has no more work for her. She also gets kicked out of the storage closet she’s been living in. Luckily, Ian needs a roommate. And it looks like Ian might be gay, since he mentions his “partner” leaving. So that’s cool. Gay supporting character! Who’s into musical theatre, you know, maybe that should’ve tipped me off earlier, too, but it didn’t. And then the two go shopping and go into Burly Books and yeah, Ian’s definitely gay. And Patsy’s recognized – it turns out the guy running the shop is Tubs, a guy from the old Patsy Walker comics. And it also turns out that Hedy Wolfe has reissued the Patsy Walker comics. Man, this is just so much fun. It’s great. Patsy is sweet and nice and full of energy. There’s a lot of humour, and a lot of heart. The art is bright and vibrant and happy. It’s adorable, especially when Patsy turns into a chibi version. But then when she’s normal, she looks both cute and really, really pretty. This is a happy book. The Happy-Go-Lucky Hellcat. The story being set up is really interesting, too. The idea of a temp agency for people with powers? That’s a clever idea. It reminds me of Squirrel Girl, another book where the hero tries to help people find their place in the world. And I love that. Superhero comics are all about punching away conflicts, and that can be a lot of fun, but I think it’s important – especially in all-ages comics like this one (despite its “T” rating, which is totally inaccurate as this is definitely all-ages) – to show conflicts resolved in positive ways, not through hitting, but through talking it out and being helpful. So, yeah, this is great and you should read it.
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #2, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos and Tamra Bonvillain. Devil is carrying Lunella down the street. Just a big red T-Rex carrying a young black girl. Nothing out of the ordinary for Marvel New York. But it must have been a slow day, because cops still show up. Lunella calls them “the Fuzz,” which is adorably dorky. Devil’s getting a little overwhelmed by all the sounds and things around him, so Lunella uses a fancy remote-control dragonfly to lure him away. It’s a really pretty drone. It’s sparkly! But she drops her joystick, so he starts rampaging. Meanwhile, the Killer Folk are in the subway. This comic remains great. Sparkly drone! I love that drone. Also, the Killer Folk get some clothes, and they are more stylish than I am. I’m jealous. Lunella remains a fantastic protagonist. Devil is a big-ass red T-Rex – when he gets entranced by the sparkly, he’s downright adorable. Bustos and Bonvillain do a wonderful job on the art. This is just a great book.
I won’t do a review of Angela, except to say it’s great. It’s hilarious. There’s some great lampshading of how goddamn weird Leah’s backstory is. She explicitly references her “absolute cluster of a timeline,” and that puts it lightly. Explaining Leah is damned near impossible: Hela’s hand was cut off and was turned into a handmaiden (because Gillen so dearly loves his puns) named Leah, who ran around with Kid Loki for a while, until Hela reincorporated her back into her own body, BUT! During the first arc, Loki had written a woman named Leah into the Serpent’s history in order to weaken him, and that Leah – a creature of fiction – teamed up with Surtur but betrayed him to help Loki, and then Loki, in order to protect Leah from himself since he was about to devour the soul of his old self and become a bad guy again, had Hela send Leah into the far past, where she would eventually grow up to be Hela. That’s the kind of backstory that makes X-Men characters weep. That’s the kind of backstory that makes Kang say, “Jeez, that seems like a bit much, don’t you think?” It’s so frigging weird and so frigging awesome. Angela points out how weird it is, and Sera tells her to read more Gillen. Advice for us all. I love Sera breaking the fourth wall. And actually, I want to talk about some of Sera’s narration from the Hans-drawn section. It’s basically all about refusing to let others define her, about making her own story. And it’s great. It’s something that I think is valuable. We all need to work to define ourselves and our own stories, and it’s even more powerful coming from a transgender character. So, that was great. This book is wonderful.
New Avengers #4 is also great. Lots of fun. Good jokes, good action, intriguing plot. Sunspot’s sickness from the Terrigen Mists is brought up, and shown well. It’s a good comic.
And a few words about Pretty Deadly #7, by DeConnick, Rios, Bellaire and Cowles. Most of those words are so goooood! Rios’ art is as gorgeous as ever. The writing’s as brilliant as ever. Sissy and Foxy are so sweet together. Molly and Jonny are alive! And man, this is such an amazing comic. It’s absolutely brilliant and gorgeous and everyone should be reading it because daaaaamn.